Erich Berger & Mari Keto


"Nobody remembers why it was radioactive in the first place."

As the world turns again towards nuclear power, producing readily available energy but also waste toxic for millions of years, urgent questions once again emerge: What do we leave behind, what will the future inherit from us? How can we as individuals and society deal with the scales and scopes of deep time? How can we make sense of the vast time-scales involved?

Inheritance consists of precious jewelry, a necklace, earing and a broché, which are radioactive and therefore, rendered practically and symbolically unwearable for deep time, until the radionuclide transmutes naturally into a stable and non-radioactive isotope of lead. Together with an electromechanical device to determine the remaining radioactivity the jewelry is stored in a concrete container which is built to endure over a vast amount of time. With these items the story goes that each time the jewelry is handed over from one generation to the next, the ritual of measurement determines if the jewelry can finally be brought in use and fulfill its promise of wealth and identity or if it has to be stored away until the next generation.